The i3-food project will achieve an optimum process control, leading to application of 3 food processing technologies under real life operating conditions. This will be done by demonstrating and piloting in a near to operational environment of applicable validation systems for each technology. We will define a scientific and cutting edge strategy for overcoming the market barriers ensuring a fast and wide market uptake. Finally, our multidisciplinary endeavor will connect and amplify the EU strengths in advanced technologies research. This project is supported by the European Commission under the H2020 Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development.

 

Novel food processing technologies have been further developed in recent years and decades. Although technical advantages have been made in terms of time savings, energy savings, extending of shelf life for retailers and ‘ready to use’ products, the implementation of these technologies in industrial food production is often still rather limited. The reasons for that are manifold and vary from low acceptance or rejection by consumers (e.g. ionizing radiation of food), to non-open market access or lack of knowledge and information among food producers on how to integrate novel technologies. An applicable validation system for integrating these technologies one by one based on a generally approach is missing. Taking the risk and investing in an improvement of their processing lines is one of the main hurdles for the industry, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in food processing. There is neither the time nor the resources available that are needed for the implementation of new non-standard processes.

The overall objective of i³-food is the implementation of three prioritised innovative food processing technologies by validation of optimum process control under industrial conditions.

Three technologies prioritised in i³-Food are:

· Pulsed Electric Field preservation (PEF-P) of liquid food products (e.g. fruit juices or smoothies);
· High pressure thermal sterilization (HPTS) for ready-to-eat-meals
· Low shear extrusion of cold food products (ice cream).

A connatural set of both technical (missing online sensors) and process conditioned bottlenecks does exist which hinders their uptake by industry and in the market.

Therefore, optimum process control will be achieved in i³-Food leading to application under real life operating conditions by demonstrating and piloting in a near to operational environment of applicable validation systems, for each technology.

For rapid and easy market uptake an analysis of the innovation environment and identification of opportunities will be performed (in phase 1) as well as road-mapping for market penetration per technology (in phase 2). This integrated approach will provide maximal synergies in between the 3 afore-mentioned technologies. Application opportunities beyond the known use cases will be explored, as well.

A scientific cutting edge strategy for overcoming the market barriers ensuring rapid and maximum market uptake will be defined. A clear description of possible applications and potential benefits will serve as an excellent basis for the dissemination activities. i³-Food will extremely benefit from results of national, trans-national and European food technology projects

Our project partners of i³-food have outstanding expertise in the field of PEF, high pressure and extrusion application as well as high competences in system and innovation research. Thus, the multidisciplinary endeavor will connect and amplify the EU strengths in bringing advanced technologies into European practice.